Tag Archives: sorting & packing

Twice As Hip

As promised, I am still among the land of the living and I have returned.  I was rather cryptic with my last post and it’s time for some clarification.

Over the last year or so I’ve been experiencing some pain in my joints, in my hips to be specific.  It was occasional and was strangely most evident while trying to get in and out of the car.  I could do stairs fine, I could walk fine.  As late as last summer and fall I was fine.  I walked long distances on my trip to Maine in August, I walked distances when we were in New Mexico into October.

But when the weather turned cold here in New Jersey late last fall, things started to change.  I think it was the combination of the cold and the damp (one of the major reasons we want to leave New Jersey) that exacerbated the situation. I plugged along through the holidays and into the New Year.  As the days went on, it was harder and harder to climb stairs, walk any distances and even as simple as sitting down then standing again.  I’d have some better days and I tried to stay positive, but for most days, it was a struggle.

I went to my family doctor who ordered hip x-rays and an MRI of my lower back.  Turns out I have degenerative joint disease (DJD) in my hips and lower spine.  She suggested I see an orthopedic doctor.  I hit a few bumps in the road in my first attempts to see someone.

However, I’ve heard from a number of friends that the Rothman Institute in Philadelphia is the best of the best.  I called and I was amazed that I was able to get an appointment in only three days.  Having no idea which doctor to ask for (although I had read up on them on the website) I simply asked the scheduler for an appointment.  She replied, “Well, we have an appointment with Dr. Rothman on Thursday.”  When I picked my chin up off the floor I picked my appointment time and I was on my way.

Rothman

 

I will be having double hip replacement on July 23.  Dr. Rothman said that recovery time is the same for one as it is for two.  I need both done, they are equally in need of replacement.  He told me he doesn’t recommend it to everyone, but in spite of my age, I’m in good health and in good shape.

In the meantime, On July 8 I’m scheduled for a day of a physical, giving blood to be available if necessary during the surgery and pre-admission testing. After surgery and two days in the hospital, I’ll be staying with my friend Gail because her home is bigger and will allow me more room to move around and do re-hab.

I also have a ton of things to accomplish prior to the surgery.  I want to get a lot of things done around the house, more of my continual sorting and purging.  In spite of the fact that I’m Much slower getting around lately, I have gotten a lot accomplished.  I want to keep that progress going as much as possible over the next few weeks.

I am anxious and excited and scared all at the same time.  I know that I couldn’t be in better hands and I can’t go on with this pain and lack of mobility.  That is almost scarier than the thought of the surgery.

That’s enough for now.  I will be keeping everyone updated on my progress.  This is going to be an adventure for me as I have never had major surgery.  You can all come along with me on this path.  I’m glad to be back here sharing with all of you again.  I’m going to try to stay calm.

Budda from Florida

Time to get back to meditating, I guess!!

Happy Sunday!

What I Ate Wednesday and a Countdown

I have decided that I LOVE participating in What I Ate Wednesday (WIAW) presented by Jenn at Peas & Crayons!

Peas and Crayons

It’s so much fun and with the opportunity to read so many other bloggers posts, I’ve come up with some new favorites.  I’ll share some of them with you on a less crazy day, especially since my computer (or is it WordPress??) is not cooperating this morning.

Due to the craziness around here right now I only actually ate dinner but you’ll understand as I go along.

After posting on BCDC Tuesday morning, I headed to sister Ele’s house to do as I promised.  I had emptied the contents of our storage unit into her dining room. 

That’s probably less than half of it, maybe a third of it.  The other two-thirds are already upstairs.  Left to right, all that I still need to move are the 2 piles of cardboard boxes on the right of the photo.   I lost steam after the first 3 piles!  I’m headed over there this morning to finish the job.  Bless my sister Ele…she is the greatest to let me do this.  I get to finish my sort and toss after we get back from our trip.

When I got back from Ele’s Ralph was up and I wasn’t thinking about eating.  I told him I needed to start to pack…not nagging, just hoping my statement would get him started.  Not sure how far he got, but I now have 4 bags packed, not including my book/computer bag or my dress up clothes for the reunion which are on hangers! 

 I think now that I know where I stand, I need to go back in and rethink things and weed out what I don’t really need.  It is tough going at this time of year.  It could be warm, it could be cool.  I know, I know…LAYER!!

Breakfast/lunch only consisted of a bowl of dry Fiber One which I ate like a snack.  Actually it is a great snack because it doesn’t count much on Weight Watchers, it’s filling and it’s good for what ails me! (Thank you, Gram!!)  A whole cup is only 4 points and is actually a LOT of cereal.  I usually only eat a half cup.  I knew this would be lunch so I splurged! ;-)

After all my bags were packed (sort of!) I decided to stay out of Ralph’s way to let him work on his game plan for packing.  Spent a while reading Love in the Time of Cholera.  Hmmm…not sure what I think of it yet.  My friend Debbie, told me Saturday that she Loved it Loved it Loved it and couldn’t wait to hear what I thought.  It’s a fascinating story.  I think the difficulty comes with translating from another language.  I doesn’t flow like something originally written in English.  I don’t hate it, that’s for sure.  Boy, I really need to start doing that book blog!! 

Dinner finally came around 4pm.  We were both hungry and thought that Pat’s Pizza would be quick and easy.  I was mostly starving by then so pretty much anything was ok with me.  This was actually better than just anything.

I had their spinach salad.

It was spinach (duh!), gorgonzola cheese, red onion, dried cranberries, walnuts and a hard-boiled egg.  It was supposed to come with raspberry vinaigrette, but I asked for balsamic instead.  Also supposed to have bacon which I declined.

It came with 2 slices of garlic bread which helped fill me up.  It was a real treat.  I will order that again!

My other savior was 2 Tootsie Pops, one mid afternoon and one in the evening.  You can bet I’ll be packing lots of them for the trip.  Fortunately, Ralph likes them too and they’re something that’s easy and not messy to eat while driving.

So…the next WIAW will be while we’re on the road.  Not sure how easy it will be for me to post during the trip until we get to Colorado Springs.  I’ll try to do some quick things here and there, and they may have to be without photos, but I’ll keep you all updated.  You can follow me on Twitter @BCDCfran and hopefully my phone will stay charged for me to do that!

Today I finish my project at Ele’s and then start thinking about lightening up my clothes packing and starting to assemble the household things we’ll be taking. 

Happy What I Ate Wednesday!!  3 Days to Go!!

Done And Done, Then Let’s Eat Quesadillas!

It took some work, but I finally have Everything out of the storage unit and it is no longer ours!  I’m excited.  I got the last of what was there out and at sister Ele’s house on Monday.  Now I just have to do the moving around over there.

I’ve got about 20 boxes still in her dining room which I need to move this week because she’ll be having company for the weekend and she doesn’t need my things in there.

The proof is in the photo…I present an empty storage unit!  I’m very excited about this!

Ralph was out for the afternoon on a mission so I went over to Gail’s house to try out one of the gadgets we got on the Great Thrift Store Tour in Florida.

A shiny red quesadilla maker.  They had tried it in Florida but after I left, so I was excited to see the results.

Very tasty!!  With black beans of course!

We even made nachos!  But since we cooked these directly from tortillas, I’m not counting them as chips, so my record still stands (No Chips For Me!)

To finish off lunch, Gail made wonderful little parfaits with fat-free vanilla yogurt, strawberries and grapes…So Tasty!

We went off to our chiropractor appointments after lunch and we are all standing taller now!

Ralph was home when I got here so we hung out for a while talking about our plans for the trip and soon it was time for some dinner.  I made Ralph his salad that he likes with tuna.  I made myself a fairly recognizable one.  I probably won’t be making anything to out of the ordinary.  Don’t want to be buying a lot of stuff, since we’ll be away for almost a month.

The last of the romaine and the wonderful baby spring mix we get from Sam’s Club. So glad Gail’s a member! ;-)

Added black beans (of course!), some freshly made couscous (I was going for quick here) and more of the light ranch I’m trying to finish up, with Mrs Dash’s Fiesta Lime seasoning added.  Definitely one of my favorites!

The finished product.  Always good and always filling.  Only needed a Lemon-Lime Tootsie Pop to finish off my night a little later.

Wanted to share a cool photo I took in Ele’s front yard.  It’s a small branch that came down during the storm.

Acorns on an oak tree branch.  A sure sign of Fall!!  Can’t wait, myself!

So I’m off to do some lugging around of boxes at Ele’s house.  When I get back, I really need to think about packing…We are going away in 4 days!!!  Yikes!  I’m off!!

Happy Tuesday!!

My Gyro!

Up early on Sunday.  I’ve got a lot to accomplish this week with getting ready for our trip and emptying the storage unit, so I wanted to get an early start.

I was still hard at work on the computer, catching up on blog reading and doing some updating on BCDC (more to come) when Ralph got up.  I hadn’t had anything to eat yet.  He asked if I’d like to share his coffee (what a sweetie!) and asked if I wanted some toast.  A local store carries this wonderful rye and marble rye bread which comes in fresh.  It’s one of Ralph’s favorites and he gets it pretty regularly. 

Very tasty and it held me over.

Late morning found me at my sister, Ele’s house.  I had left her with a dining room full of boxes from the storage unit.  I wanted to get them upstairs to their new temporary home.  Together we got most of them up there.  I’ll be filling it up some more today with the last of what’s in the unit.  Cannot Wait to have that finished!!  Thanks to Ele for helping me with this!

Mid afternoon, Ralph decided we needed some lunch/dinner.  We decided on the Gateway Diner.  They have something on their menu that I’ve been meaning to try.  We go there so often for breakfast, not so often for lunch or dinner.

I know now that when it’s a lunch/dinner visit there, This will be my go-to choice.

May I present…the Vegetable Gyro Special!

The special comes with a small Greek Salad.  No problem there for me!  Asked for the dressing on the side and it was so tasty!

The main attraction…

This was Huge and Delicious.  On the gyro you get, spinach, lettuce, onions, tomatoes and mushrooms.  As I ate through it, I detected cheese also.  You get the tzatziki sauce on the side which was also good.  It came with a side of potato salad ( Should have put that on my Greek salad! ) and cole slaw.  I didn’t eat the potato salad and got a container to bring it home for Ralph.  Of course, I promptly left it on the table when we left. :-(

This was so delicious and very much worth waiting for.  I know I will order it again.  Any vegetarians in this area really need to try this.  It is the best!  The bread was soft and fluffy and the veggies were nicely spiced.  It was however VERY MESSY!  Ask for extra napkins to start!

Monday morning and I’m just waiting until it’s time that I can get into the storage unit and do the last of my clean out.  I can’t tell you how glad I am that it will be finished.

Countdown…5 days to the Road Trip!!

Off to face the day…Happy Monday!! 

 

Success At Last

Hallelujah, Friday!!  I was able to get into our storage unit and get some serious moving done!!  Turns out the power went out at the whole storage place which is why no one was there.  As I explained to the manager, I was ready to strangle him on Friday when I arrived there.  I suggested that a good customer service move would have been to put a sign on the door explaining the situation.  He agreed.  Whether it would ever happen if that situation arises again…I don’t know.

I got two Very full car loads moved from the storage unit to my sister Ele’s house.  There is probably about 2 moderate car loads left.  Our plan had been to go there today with both our cars and finish the job.  However, the rain has started and I think I’ll have to finish up on Monday if the weather improves.  I was pretty tired yesterday after moving all of those boxes so I was not looking forward to moving more today.  Another couple of recovery days will be good.

Today’s good news…I had a very fruitful Weight Watchers meeting today…I lost 1 and a half pounds!  I was very excited.  With this long road trip looming in my future, I want to be at the top of my game to start.  Once we get to New Mexico, I can cook regular meals and that should keep me in check.  I’m looking forward to going to a WW meeting in NM.  I haven’t gone to one there.  Last year when we were there, I forgot my membership book so I couldn’t go.  I won’t make that mistake this time!

After all of my hard work Friday morning, I thought I deserved a special breakfast.

I had found this interesting bit of memorabilia in my kitchen cabinet.

It’s a glass measuring cup from my Grandmom.  It’s neat because it doesn’t have a handle and you could use it as a glass or in this case…for a parfait!

The assembled parts… 1/2 cup of Fiber One, 2/3 cup fat-free vanilla yogurt, strawberries and blueberries.

The beautiful finished product.  This was incredibly filling and it only counted for 4 Points on WW!!  Was I excited?  You Bet!!  I’ll be making this again!  The measuring cup made the perfect container for it, too!  I think there’s another one of them around the house somewhere, that way I could make one for Ralph as well!

Dinner will look rather familiar with a different twist.

Lettuce, thy name is Romaine…

I took the last of the pre-made quinoa, added 1 cup of black beans, ground black pepper, garlic powder and Mrs. Dash Fiesta Lime seasoning.  Mixed them together and microwaved for 1 minute.

I had some light ranch dressing which I thinned down with some water and added more of the Mrs. Dash.

The finished product…So Yummy!

One last fun photo for you.  My best friends Gail and Alice are home from Florida.  One of the things they brought back was a “lemon” from Gail’s brother’s tree.  It doesn’t look like a lemon, perhaps more like a grapefruit.

I put it on the stove so that the heating elements would give it some perspective.  The thing is HUGE!!  Alice uses it for her tea and I think she told me it lasts her at least week.  Very cool!

The rain seems to have let up.  I don’t know if we’ll lose power, but I’m about to charge my phone, my camera and I’m already charging the little computer that works on a cell phone number.  Hopefully there will be no interruption in BCDC due to the lovely Irene.  I hope she decides that she dislikes New Jersey and leaves us alone!  Everyone try to stay safe!

Happy (probably Wet) Saturday!!

Hrrummpphh…

Or at least I Think that’s how you spell it!  I’ve been whining about not getting anything done, about no focus or motivation, about being the biggest Slug in the world.  But you know folks…sometimes it’s just not my fault!

As I mentioned yesterday, I was up since 2:30am, just because.  I got my exercise done (complete with reading!) got my blog posting and blog reading done and I was ready for my mission for the day.

Go to the storage unit at 9am…when the office opens…so that the manager can help me open the STUPID DOOR THAT DOESN’T WORK!!!  Calm down and take a deep breath.  Ok, I’m better now.  I get there and the sign on the office door says “Closed.”  Hmmm.  Well it’s only 5 after 9 and I figure I’ll give him a few minutes.  Then I notice that the gates that require a code to enter are also open.  Hmmm.  I wait for a few minutes then think, well gee…I’m strong, maybe I really Can get the door open myself.

My drive to the unit itself proves futile.  I really Can’t get the door open.  I drive back to the office and wait some more.  I decide I’ll call the office number, maybe there’s a message saying the office will open later today.  If that was the case there should have been a SIGN ON THE DOOR to say that.  I call and there is no recording, no voicemail.  Nothing!!  I waited about 30 minutes and then drove home. 

I tried calling a few more times throughout the morning, but nothing.  I got really excited because one time it rang busy but then I realized it was probably someone else who was trying to find out what was going on.  Any wonder I came home in a bad mood.  Any wonder I didn’t feel like doing anything.  Sometimes I’d just rather stick pins in my eyes that deal with businesses like this!

I wasn’t a complete slug.  I started going through clothes, trying to determine what to take on our trip.  Yikes!! It’s already next week that we’ll be leaving.  I’m excited for the trip but annoyed that I can’t get this storage thing worked out because I don’t want to pay for another month.  I could wait until I get back, but then I’d be paying for 2 more months!  Not gonna happen. 

I got something of a plan going for what clothes I’m taking.  Trying to figure out what I’ll need at such a transitional time of year and in a mountain (probably cooler )area is making my brain hurt.  I don’t want to over pack but I want everything I need.  Rent a U-Haul, possibly?!?  Just kidding.  I’ll figure it out. 

I also started my master list.  Although, I’m not the most organized person, I always have a big list…on my clipboard…like an organized person would (  ;-)  ) with everything I need to pack.  I cross things off as I go along.  This time it’s trickier because I’m listing some household things I want to take along to leave at the house in NM.  It will all depend on trunk and back seat space once we get our rental car. 

Funny thing is…I was frustrated when I started writing this, but talking about New Mexico is making me feel better.  I like it!

I finished reading Water For Elephants yesterday and I liked it.  I didn’t appreciate the cruelty to the elephant or some of the humans for that matter.  By I liked Sara Gruen’s style of writing.

I started Love In The Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez: Book Cover

Another one of those “must-reads” that people tell me about.  Interesting so far, but it annoys me when an author does not make it clear where the story takes place.  I have so many rules about books…sometimes I hate myself for it! ;-)  I really do need to start a book blog.  Then these writers would know the rules!!

So I finally got to food just in time to eat and watch TMZ. 

The Big Romaine…sounds like a Coen Brothers movie!!

Tomato, green bell pepper, leftover quinoa and my wonderful freshly home-made black beans.  The Best!

Yum…nothing better…a big salad in my Big Purple Bowl!

Finished the night with this…

A book and a Wild Black Berry Tootsie Pop.  What more could a girl ask for?!?  Fell asleep watching Project Runway, but I woke up just in time to find out “Who’s In and Who’s Out!!” 

Off to face the fun at the storage unit.  I HAVE to get this done before the fool hurricane gets here, too….Hrrummpphh…

Happy Friday!!

Egg-streme Day

Ralph’s appointment in Philadelphia was scheduled for noon.  We were both up and ready, so we were on our way by about 11am.  Since the office he was visiting was across the street from the Melrose Diner, our plan was for me to wait for him there until he was finished.

To keep the waitress happy since I would be taking up a booth for a while, I ordered breakfast.

My choice-a spinach and feta cheese omelette with sliced tomatoes and dry rye toast.  It was tasty and I was excited that they had orange marmalade for my toast.  It’s so hard to find that in diners in NJ. 

I didn’t mind waiting because I had my book with me.  I’m still working on Water For Elephants and still loving it!!  It’s moving quickly and an extra hour of reading time was a nice gift.  Especially when it came accompanied by coffee!!

Ralph finished his appointment and joined me to have some lunch.  He felt it was a productive meeting and he’s excited about it.

When we got home I got my black beans out of the crock pot.

I just love having a nice batch of beans all ready and waiting for me in the fridge!  Unfortunately, time got away from us when we got home, Ralph took a nap and I did a few things around the house.  It was almost 7:30pm when we thought about eating.  I didn’t feel like getting anything ready so Ralph took the quick trip around the corner to Picasso’s.

Boring person that I am, it’s easy to guess what I asked for.

My usual, pepper and egg sandwich.  Yes…Eggs again…I love it and I’m not going to apologize!! ;-)

In an effort to be “artsy,” I took what I think is a cool photo of the condensation collecting inside my crock pot.

It doesn’t translate quite as well as I would have liked, but hey…I love my crock pot and I’m not going to hide it!!

So it’s Thursday and I’ve been awake since 2:30am.  Could Not go back to sleep!! :-(  I tried.  I was on my stationary bike by 4am, did my 40 minutes.  I have plans today to get to the storage unit and get a lot more of what’s stored brought home.  Hope I can stay wake to do that.  I can always take a nap when I get home! 

On to a Productive Day!

Happy Thursday!!